Fri08012014

News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Deadline placed on civic center plan


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A family takes advantage of the unseasonably warm January weather to lunch outside at the Los Altos Civic Center on Hillview Avenue. The complex housing a community center, city hall and police station is the subject of renovation plans.

One of the Los Altos City Council’s priorities for 2014 now has a deadline.

Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers told the Town Crier that the city’s process to update its Civic Center Master Plan – which would include updated plans to replace Hillview Community Center with a modern multiuse structure – will be complete in approximately 10 months. The city council established the timeline for the project at a Jan. 14 study session.

“This is a very aggressive schedule, but we think we can meet it. The short time frame will help us stay focused,” said Somers, who was slated to unveil a more detailed process schedule at the Jan. 28 council meeting, held after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Somers noted that the effort isn’t necessarily meant to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the existing master plan for replacing the city’s aging civic center facilities – particularly Hillview. She said a large component to the update effort will be a comprehensive review and validation of information already contained in the original master plan, completed in June 2009. Somers added that she believes “the majority” of the information in the current master plan will remain valid.

“There’s a lot of good work already done on what are the (public’s) interests and needs,” said Somers, who retained the services of Anderson Brulé Architects to develop an updated master plan.

Still, Somers noted that the update will explore new aspects for consideration as part of the master plan. During the hour-plus study session, several councilmembers expressed a desire to examine the benefits, drawbacks and costs associated with underground parking as part of a new community center. Two councilwomen – Val Carpenter and Jan Pepper – also shared their desire for adding a community pool facility option to the master plan update.

“We’ll see during public engagement opportunities where that falls out,” Somers said of the idea to add underground parking to a community center design concept. “It is obviously a more costly option.”

According to Somers, another key aspect to the update includes gathering ample feedback from residents.

The 10-month schedule, she said, will include no less than eight opportunities for residents to offer feedback and suggestions on various elements – such as a community center design concepts and programming needs – from the beginning to the end of the update process. Those opportunities, she added, could ultimately come in the form of workshops, city council study sessions and other public events.

Somers said the city will also look at ways to engage residents online as part of the update process.

“Not everyone is going to be interested in every element we’re trying to validate,” she said. “There are going to be different groups of constituents interested in different things.”

Somers said she hopes that the update process will lead to its intended consequence – a new community center building all residents can enjoy for decades to come.

“I think the community will really benefit from having a comprehensive multigeneration, multipurpose community center,” she said. “We have one (currently), but obviously without the quality that the community desires.”

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